Friday, March 11, 2016

PWS- How to Write a Quilt Pattern - Wrap Up (Topic 10)

Topic X - Pattern Writing Blog Series Wrap Up


We made it!  This is the 25th and final post in the Pattern Writing Blog Series!  We have covered topics all the way from an design idea to a published quilt pattern and everything in between.

When I first had the idea to post about quilt pattern writing back 6 months ago, I started with the idea of a single post.  I quickly realized that to really cover the topic on any more than just a superficial level would take a lot of posts, time, and effort.  Thank you so much for going through the series with me!  I hope that you have found interesting as well as helpful.

Through the series, I have illustrated the process through the development of the Ninja Bears quilt pattern.  This pattern is now available as a free digital quilt pattern from my Craftsy shop.

All of the posts are linked up in the Pattern Writing Series tab above to easily be able to reference any of the topics covered.  I hope that pin or otherwise save this series for future reference and to share with others if you found the content useful and informative.

I want to leave you invigorated to try your hand at writing that quilt pattern you have had in your head for the last few years or the quilt pattern that all of your friends have been asking for since you first showed them the finished quilt.  Writing your first quilt pattern is daunting, time-consuming, and at times very frustrating, but you will have this series to refer to and a whole Facebook Group (which is already up to almost 150 members!) to ask questions of, find testers, and commiserate with.  You can do it!

If you have any questions now (or in the future), you can leave them in a comment below or on a particular post and I will answer them.


I asked the guest designers to give some last tips and words of encouragement about pattern writing.

 

Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts -
If you are passionate about designing quilts and offering patterns for those designs, don't be intimidated by the process of pattern writing. It does take a lot of work, but the whole thing can be broken down into steps. It is a rewarding experience to sell a pattern that others can enjoy. So don't give up.

Amy of 13 Spools - I found the book Publish Your Patterns! How to Write, Print, and Market Your Designs (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0971450137?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage) very helpful.

Soma of Whims and Fancies - The most important thing is to have fun with the pattern that you are writing. As with everything else, practice makes pattern writing easier.

Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl - I strongly believe that everyone is creative, and you are doing your best work right now. Trying something new is a leap into the unknown, but remember that you can reach out to your quilting community (whether they be in person or online) for help when you need it.

Anne of Springleaf Studios - If you love designing AND have an interest in explaining how to do it to others then go for it. You just need to understand that you not only need a strong design, but also a clear ability to explain and illustrate how to do it. We’ve gotten used to seeing tutorials on blogs with lots of photo step outs included. A written pattern most likely won’t have all those photos or it would be a book. You need to be able to condense and illustrate while still conveying the same information.

I started by reading the book Amy mentions and found it very helpful with a lot of basic information. Also don't be afraid to ask questions.   I totally relate to Yvonne's comment about being wordy. Editing is the hardest part for me too.

Amy of 13 Spools - I’m absolutely positive all of this will seem extremely overwhelming. Honestly, it did to me too, and now I feel like I’ve got this - only a few years after writing my first pattern. And let me tell you - that first pattern was horrible. It was horribly written. No one needed a pattern to make that quilt. The photographs were less than amazing. The layout was lacking. The graphic design was crap. No one bought it. (Probably a good thing.)

That’s ok. That’s what your first project is for. The Sistine Chapel wasn’t Michelangelo's first project, and your first project won’t be amazing. Make it free, share it with others, whatever - or get help! Hire a designer, get a mentor, buy a ton of patterns to scour, take some design classes on CreativeLive or DesignShare. Fail. Get back up again. Fail again. Dust it off. Keep going. There’s no secrets here but hard work, good preparation, and learning from your mistakes.

Anne of Springleaf Studios - If you do decide to write patterns, look at the bigger picture. Will you want to offer printed patterns in the future? It’s easy to have digital pattern that is several pages long. Not so easy to turn that same thing into a printed pattern without major editing.

Christa of Christa Quilts - When choosing to offer print patterns, do your homework and get several different quotes. I found the best prices on printing at gotprint.com online, but you have to buy them in volume.

Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to gain traction. Most shops and distributors don’t respond well to cold calls, i.e. hitting them up at their shops or at quilt market without an appointment. Find out who the buyers are, develop a relationship with them, and conduct yourself professionally at all times. It can take several tries before they are willing to see what you have to offer, but don’t give up. Also, develop a pattern line of about 5-6 patterns before you approach a shop or distributor to carry your line.

Like anything in business, take yourself seriously and don’t give up when the going gets tough. If you want something bad enough, you can make it happen!

Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl - We all have things to learn. I struggle with being wordy and wanting to visually represent everything in my patterns. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but if I ever do move toward printing my patterns or having them sold wholesale, I will definitely need to continue to learn the art of editing and culling where appropriate.



And now to celebrate!  The guest designers and myself have each donated one (1) digital quilt pattern as a prize so there will be seven (7) winners in all!

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post.  You can ask a question, add some of your own insight, thank the guest designers, or anything else.  One comment per person please.

This giveaway starts today (Friday March 11th) and will run until Wednesday March Dec 16th at 8 p.m. EST.  The giveaway is open to everyone around the world.  If you are a no-reply blogger, please leave your e-mail address because if I can't contact you, you can't win.

** Giveaway now closed, comments are still open so if you have a pattern writing related question you can still leave it here. **

Thank you again for joining in with me on this series!!



48 comments:

  1. Thank you all for your honest and helpful sharing and words of wisdom. This series has given an indepth look at so many different aspects; I look forward to working with them :-)

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  2. Thank you for pulling together and sharing so much information on the pattern writing process. I really enjoyed reading this series.

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  3. I have throughly enjoyed this series and appreciate all the time and effort put into providing this series! Thanks so much to all of you for you time and GREAT ADVICE. I am hoping I can someday write a pattern and maybe share my pattern writing skills. Thanks so much!!!

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  4. Thanks all for the great series! I saved all the posts and I will get back to them in the future to improve my pattern writing experience! Thanks again!!

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  5. Thanks Cheryl for this awesome series. I have really appreciated the different points of view and the insights into the patterning business. I've found my new home in the Facebook group! Thank you.

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  6. Thanks for all the helpful tips, I enjoyed this series and appreciate the time you and your contributors took to make it happen :)

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  7. This has been such an encouraging series, and I really appreciate all the effort you all have put into this! Thank you all! I will check out the FB groups, too :)

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  8. A fun series! I am glad there are people like these women who like to design! I will stick to buying other's patterns. You designers need we buyers!!
    Ohioholman at aol dot com

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  9. Thank you Cheryl and the guest designers! What a wealth of information to be able to refer to when needed!

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  10. This has been a great series that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading. Thank you!

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  11. I have loved this series. It has helped me decide that maybe I can do this. It has also helped me to share tutorials on my blog.

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  12. I have loved this series. It has helped me decide that maybe I can do this. It has also helped me to share tutorials on my blog.

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  13. Thank you all for this series. I have written a few patterns, but would like to make my patterns even better and you have all given great tips and advise.

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  14. Thank you for compiling this series, it has been very informative. I have appreciated the different perspectives presented by each of the designers.

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  15. Wonderful series! Thank you all for sharing your knowledge and insights. I know my pattern writing is sure to improve from your advice.

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  16. This series has been more than helpful to me! Thank you Cheryl!! And thank you Guest Designer too! I feel like I could actually write a pattern that doesn't suck now! Seriously, I've learned so much. Many of my concerns and questions have been answered. I'm feeling much better about the process and maybe even feeling a little more comfortable. What seemed like a daunting scary task, doesn't seem so bad after this series! I cannot thank you all enough!

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  17. This series has brought so much insight and knowledge. thank you Cheryl for hosting and thank you guest Designers for your contributions. although I don't create patterns for sale, I do try to provide clear concise info to students in my classes and this series has been invaluable for that.

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  18. Thanks for hosting such a great discussion! I'm not sure I'll ever sell a pattern, but a lot of the discussion will help me become a better blogger.

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  19. Thanks and I found this information very informative. Thanks to your guest Designers for their contributions to the articles as well.

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  20. This has been a great series and it's starting to get my creative juices flowing. Thanks to all for participating.

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  21. Thank you for a wonderful in-depth and informative series. I have a friend who is currently trying to enter the pattern making world as a small business, and I have been passing on your articles to her. She is grateful for what she has gleaned from these articles, and knows she has a long road ahead of her to make her business as successful as she needs it to be. Thank you for sharing your knowledge to help make others successful!

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  22. Thank you so much for this series! It has been enjoyable and a great help to so many people. The information provided will be used over and over again. It is always exciting to learn!!

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  23. Really enjoyed the series, although I haven't read every single post yet, so I am so glad you've made a page, Cheryl, and then I can go back to them and save them in my Bloglovin' feed, which is where I already have a bunch of them. It's unbelievably kind of you to have put all this work into this series; I am really really in awe that you did this all for free, and we have it to refer to time and time again. Thank you!!! mwah!

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  24. What a fabulous gift from all of the great designers. I am inspired to get busy and finish completing the English paper piecing pattern I've been working on. Your information has helped me over some hurdles and challenges. Thank you for putting together this wonderful series.

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  25. This series has been amazing. So much information from so many great pattern designers. Thank you all so much for sharing your expertise!

    lin.web.28 at gmail dot com

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  26. this series was interesting through-and-through. thanks for all your hard work to put it together.

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  27. This has been a wonderful series, Cheryl, and I appreciate all the insight from all your fellow bloggers. I have published a couple of digital patterns, and was gratified to see my process is similar to the real pros. I gained some valuable tips too, thank you!

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  28. All the designers in this series are very encouraging and that is worth so much. It has been a wonderful series to help all of us develop as designers no matter where each of us is.

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  29. I have enjoyed reading all about this process of writing patterns. It has been eye-opening and very helpful. Thank you to everyone for your time and talent.

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  30. This has been a great series. One question I would like to ask is where you stand on using a technique that's been developed by a particular person? The 6 minute circle springs to mind.

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  31. This has been such a great series - one of the most valuable ones I have followed in my (brief!) time as a quilter! You ladies are so inspiring and generous. Huge thank you to you all! <3 :)

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  32. This was great! So much information that I will need to read through it more than once! Thanks to all of you that offered insight!

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  33. Thanks so much for this great series. It's already been put into practice for me while I write up a block tutorial for an upcoming blog hop. My pattern writing is much improved and I even have illustrations from start to finish! It's taken so much longer than just photographing my sewing as I go along but it's been worth it. Thank you!

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  34. Thank you for all of your insights, words of wisdom and votes of support. I've done a lot of graphic design, and I've made a lot of quilts. This was an interesting trip down the "what if" highway to think about putting together some formal quilting patterns and distributing them.

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  35. Thank you for taking away the mystery of how patterns are created! I have shared your posts on my blog (www.thebeachyquilter.wordpress.com) along with my own journey in creating a pattern I designed! Getting the pattern finished will be my goal for this summer! Your guest designers have offered wonderful insight as well. Thanks to all! Aloha!

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  36. This is a great series. Thank you all for taking the time to write and participate as well as the encouragement for all the "future designers".

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  37. I am in the midst of writing my first pattern right now so this series has been timely and very helpful! Thank you for all you do giving back to the quilting community!

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  38. Thank you again, Cheryl, and all of the designers who have shared so much valuable information throughout! I've really enjoyed the series and will be using it as a reference as I go forward.

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  39. Thank you for all the amazing information regarding pattern writing. Everyone's different process, aprroach, insight, etc was fascinating.

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  40. Congrats on wrapping up a really great series Cheryl. I was thrilled to be a part of it. (Don't count this comment in the drawing.)

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  41. This series has been informative, encouraging, and very timely. Thank you, Cheryl, for putting it together, and thank you to all of the contributors for sharing your insights!

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  42. Thank you so much for this series, it was extremely helpful. I have been designing for a year now, and this is given me some insight on how to better my patterns. vanda@chittenden.co.za

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  43. This has been a great series Cheryl. It must have been so much work for you to organise, I've learnt so much.
    jen dot barnard at btinternet dot com

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  44. This has been a very informative series, Thanks Lady's for all your information and insight. I have learned a lot. I added the link to this on my blog. This was a wonderful share!!

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  45. Thanks to all of the designers for sharing your thoughts/advice - I don't know if I will ever write my own pattern but I really enjoyed the peek into the world of pattern writing.

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  46. Thanks for all the hard work you put into this series! I've picked up a few great tips already and I'm sure I'll be back time and time again for more. :)

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  47. Awesome work!! So informative and explains so much about patterns!!! Thanks!! mumbird3(at)gmail(dot)com

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  48. Awesome work!! So informative and explains so much about patterns!!! Thanks!! mumbird3(at)gmail(dot)com

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Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment!